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Cast in Stone

Short Young Adult Horror Fiction

By Michelle LiewPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 7 min read
3
Cast in Stone
Photo by Thomas Evans on Unsplash

"Gosh, she's a whale," Reuben referred, brazenly and with more than a bit of impudence, to their new female classmate, Tricia. 

"Right. She's Fatricia, not Patricia. Look at her!" Amy, the other leader of the group, scoffed and spat on the floor in front of their hapless classmate. "She does whales a disservice. They're cute, you know." 

"Yeah, she's trash. She'll put whales to shame." He picked up a 

pebble and flung it at their tearful, bound, and gagged classmate.

"Disgusts me, is what she does."

Following Reuben's lead, Amy picked up a slightly bigger pebble and also pelted the helpless Amy. "There you go. This fatso puts me off, too." The rest of the elitists, a popular group of students, slowly lifted even bigger stones. 

Reuben turned to them. "Well, how do you feel about her? Surely not very comfortable."

Amy chuckled. "We feel whatever you do, Reuben."

"Yeah, us too, " Bridget, a new and rather mousy member of the group, saw his chance to score a few points with its leaders. She threw her pebble.

The flinging continued.   

____________________________________________________

A Few Months Later

"Hey, let that go!" Amy giggled as her boyfriend, Reuben, grabbed a marshmallow from the stick she was burning over a roaring campfire.

"Baby, these are for all of us," Reuben cajoled, suavely popping the offending marshmallow into his mouth. "Didn't your mom teach you to share and share alike?"

"Yeah, but not with you," Amy retorted, playfully grabbing the other marshmallows her other half was holding. The two of them continued their pseudo-fighting in front of the comfortably burning logs. 

"If the two of you are quite finished with all that flirting, why don't we decide how we are going to sleep?" Tom, another member of the group, attempted to set up a tent that kept dislocating from its supports. "I think we should use tents in pairs. Need I remind you about what happened a few months before?"

"Ugh, please don't remind me about Fatricia," Amy snorted. "A whale that corrupts the high seas." She nudged Reuben. "We'll share a tent, Our parents aren't here." She gave him a doe-eyed stare.

"Ok, ok, we'll go to bed soon. Let me finish these marshmallows."Reuben gulped the rest of the soft, sponge-like creations layered with Hershey's chocolate on his stick. He grabbed Amy's hand. "Now, please don't bother us until tomorrow," Reuben hauled her and pulled her towards their tent. 

Tom, however, didn't seem quite in the mood for any banter, sexual or otherwise. He gave them a disapproving stare."She died. No matter how we rationalize it, we're responsible," he sighed. "And she's dead," He began to scratch the ground uncomfortably. "My dad told me that he's heard a female voice singing when he collects wood for his carpentry projects. I never told him about what happened, of course. Too creepy," he shuddered, clearly a little distraught. 

"Look, Tom, if you're so frightened, why don't you visit her grave yourself? Reuben continued to pull Amy to the tent. "The rest of us need to sleep." 

'Yeah," Lisa, another group member, stretched and yawned. "Fatricia will have to wait till tomorrow. Let's get some shuteye. 

The group headed to their tents in pairs, leaving Tom behind to ponder the ground he had just scratched.He knew he was being sensitive; the scratches had triggered some growling. 

"I can't sleep, guys, you go ahead. I will be in the tent later."

He stared into the flaming embers before him, pondering over what happened to Amy just a few short months before. A seemingly peaceful silence kept him company as he jostled with the logs burning before him. 

Silence that wouldn't last. As though confirming the truth of his father's words, female singing built up softly through the clearing. 

Tom turned to the surrounding trees in a vain attempt to locate its source. He headed off into the beckoning darkness. 

____________________________________________________

After a loving night in their tent, Reuben and Amy emerged.

"Where's that little wimp?" Reuben queried, glancing around. 

"Probably off to take a pee," Amy ran her fingers through her curly black locks. 

Lisa soon popped her head out of the tent she shared with Bridget, another member of the group. "What's for breakfast? We're starving here," She pointed at Bridget, whose silhouette they observed pulling a T-shirt on. 

"Why don't we wait for Tom for a while," Amy suggested.They waited for another half an hour but Tom never showed. 

Though she never gave her feelings a voice, Amy was finding it difficult to mask her worry. Tom was the responsible member of the group; he would have mentioned the need for a pee to someone. She gave Reuben a nudge. "Why don't you peek around for him a bit. Knowing him, he could be playing some kind of weird prank," 

Reuben walked off into thick clumps of trees nearby. An ugly shriek soon resounded. 

The rest scuttled towards the sound and found Reuben pointing, oddly and uncharacteristically wordless, at a boulder before him. On it, etched in capitals, were the letters T_O_M.  In the background, among the clumps of trees, a soft singing voice.

____________________________________________________

"Guys, maybe we do have some reason to worry," The typically narcissistic Reuben began to shift his feet. He looked about him, normally handsome features suddenly aged a decade. 

"Eh, who knows? It's quite like you to have carved that there as a sick joke," Lisa intoned.

"Guys, whatever it is, we're in the open. Let's just look out for each other, ok?" Amy's voice suddenly seemed a tone higher than usual. 

"We should take turns watching over the tents while others are asleep. What say you?"

"I have no problem with that, " Lisa nodded. Slowly, Bridget nodded her assent, and the typically flippant Reuben finally threw his arms up in surrender. "I don't want to fall victim to whatever caused that,"

He paused."You don't think the ghost of Fatricia is real, do you?"

"Real or not, let's protect ourselves." Amy's rebellious streak, too, seemed to subside. "Who wants the first watch?"

"K, I'm the only guy left, I'll do it, " Reuben settled on a camping stool they had brought with them. "You girls go sleep, I have a nice place to sit." Reuben lit a cigarette he had hidden in his breast pocket and stared into the night sky. The stars lining it seemed to be staring back at him.

After a while, the whispering, soft singing voice filled the clump of trees near the campground. Reuben, exhausted and trying to keep awake, remained oblivious to its melancholic strains. 

____________________________________________________

The girls awoke the next morning, and Amy's head peeked out of her tent. She opened her mouth in a casual yawn. "Where's that smart-mouth boyfriend of mine?"

Lisa stepped out of her and Bridget's tent and looked around. "Don't see him. Perhaps he went to catch breakfast," Lisa gestured to the fishing gear the group had brought with them. 

"Reuben? Fish? It was a task to just get him to come here. You don't think..." She paused, sudden foreboding clouding her usually jaunty demeanor. 

Lisa and Bridget immediately started searching the clumps of nearby trees, while Amy frantically dialled Reuben's cell. She ran to join the other girls when there was no answer. 

Finally, in an area almost completely hidden from view, were a few forbidding boulders.On them, the letters R_E_U_B_E_N stood out, though no one was in the mood for the alphabet. The ground below it was a shallow grave. The girls' eyes fell onto, sticking out of it as though in surrender, a pair of open palms. 

Amy fell to the ground, releasing a loud wail. She knew whose they were. 

____________________________________________________

The girls returned to the clearing, frantically packing their  belongings into the large rucksacks they had brought with them. 

The evening sky, graced by stars twinkling a warning message,  had emerged by the time they had finished. 

"We'll take some time to get out of here," Amy indicated, referring to the long forest trails before them. "Do you girls want to stay for another night or try to leave the forest? We'd risk..." She left her sentence incomplete. 

"Let's risk it.  We're girls......I don't want to stay another minute here," Bridget wailed. Lisa nodded vigorously in agreement. 

"Alright then, let's move," Amy grabbed her compass. Despite its needle always pointing north, the girls kept returning to the clearing. This happened twice before the observant Lisa observed a shadow, crowned with unkempt, scraggly hair, following them. 

"Lisa....." the soft singing whisper echoed with eerie familiarity. "L_I_S_A. Is that how you spell your name?" 

The frantic girl swivelled, and her eyes locked with a pair of female's that emitted an eerie glow. In the dark, her ghastly form was but a grotesque, overweight silhouette. Her bloodied hands seemed strangely strong - they grabbed a boulder. 

She heaved. 

____________________________________________________

"Amy? Reuben? Tom?" Worried adult voices filled the clearing. The youngsters' parents had formed a search party when the teens hadn't returned a whole day after they said they would. 

In the clearing, in a neat, complete row, was a line of boulders. On each - Tom, Lisa, Amy, Reuben and Bridget. The adults let out horrific wails of unwanted recognition. 

There was no singing now. The stars above retained a constant glow and the sky was peacefully clear. 

Horror
3

About the Creator

Michelle Liew

Hi, i am an English Language teacher cum freelance writer with a taste for pets, prose and poetry. When I'm not writing my heart out, I'm playing with my three dogs, Zorra, Cloudy and Snowball.

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Comments (3)

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  • Nathal Nortan2 days ago

    I don't really like horror but this really get me going. Thanks

  • angela hepworth3 months ago

    i was rooting for patricia from the start so you know what, i’m not even mad. haha, awesome story! super scary

  • Oh shit, that was so freaking creepyyyyy! Poor Patricia though, I'm just so glad she managed to get revenge! All of them deserved it!

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